Dortmund concludes: Vishy Anand Victorious

8/1/2004 – Anand picked up his first Dortmund trophy by crushing Vladimir Kramnik's Sicilian in their second rapid tiebreak game. It was a draw-filled tournament but in the end it found a deserving winner and the four top seeds on top. Svidler downed Leko in rapids to take third place. Naiditsch and Bologan won their consolation matches. Games and report.

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SPARKASSEN
CHESS-MEETING
2004
22 July to 1 August 2004

Finals game 2 – Sunday, August 1

Final 1: Sat. July 31, 14:00h
Anand
½-½
Kramnik
For 3rd place
Leko
½-½
Svidler
For 5th place
Naiditsch
1-0
Rublevsky
For 7th
Karjakin
½-½
Bologan
Final 2: Sun. Aug 1, 11:30h
Kramnik
½-½
Anand
Playoff: 1/2 0-1
For 3rd place
Svidler
½-½
Leko
Playoff 1/2 1-0
For 5th place
Rublevsky
½-½
Naiditsch
For 7th
Bologan
1-0
Karjakin
Games – Report

Dortmund 2004 final standings

Champion: Viswanathan Anand
2: Vladimir Kramnik
3: Peter Svidler
4: Peter Leko
5: Arkady Naiditsch
6: Sergey Rublevsky
7: Victor Bologan
8: Sergey Karjakin

India's Viswanathan Anand added a new trophy to his collection today, one that represents his first Dortmund victory. (Anand scored equal firsts in 1996 and 2000, but Kramnik got the title on tiebreak rules both times.) It was a deserving triumph in a format not necessarily designed to reward the brave. Anand scored wins over Svidler and Rublevsky in classical chess and then beat Leko and Kramnik in rapid games to take the title.


The Tiger and the Lady, wife Aruna. (Photo by Dagobert Kohlmeyer, Berlin)

After yesterday's incredible first game between the finalists today was something of an anticlimax. In the classical game Kramnik played into a known slightly superior endgame but his legendary grinding skills were unable to make progress. Anand sacrificed a pawn for activity and notched the draw in 47 moves. That moved the final match to the unfortunate reality of rapid games.

"Schnellschach," as it is called, was played in Dortmund at the time control of 15'+5", faster than the standard rapid control of 25'+10". Since Anand is the acknowledged speed king of the chess world he was the clear favorite. He gained a quick draw with black in the first game, 19 moves in a Ruy Lopez.

The second rapid game became the latest of Kramnik's failed experiments with the Najdorf Sicilian. The classical world champion took up this sharpest of defenses only recently, losing two games with it at Corus this year. He continued to dabble in a few Amber blindfold games and then put it on the shelf until trying it against young Karjakin last week in Dortmund, a game he could have lost on several occasions.

Anand, a veteran Sicilian-killer, was not so forgiving. In a lopsided game, Kramnik didn't make much progress on the queenside while Anand was blasting through against his king. When Kramnik resigned on move 31 Anand's king was far safer than should be possible in a Najdorf! So much of chess is intuition built on experience you can't help but wonder if Kramnik would have been better off playing one of his favorite defenses in such a critical game.

In the final position after 31.Bg4 (left) White will win the exchange with Be6+ and still maintain a strong attack.

The draw in the second classical game was Kramnik's tenth straight in this year's Dortmund. Last year he won his first game and drew nine in a row, so this makes 19 consecutive Dortmund draws!

The Svidler-Leko match also went to rapid games after a short draw. Svidler held the first tiebreaker with black. In the second he used an acrobatic knight to win an endgame that looked roughly equal at the outset. Like Kramnik, Leko drew all ten of his games in Dortmund. He lost three rapid games and scored a single rapid win, against Karjakin in the Group 2 playoff.

Local boy Arkady Naiditsch finished his excellent run by holding Rublevsky to win their match for 5th place. Bologan defeated a tired Karjakin for his only win of the event. Despite his late fade it was a strong performance by the 14-year-old Ukrainian Karjakin. His game with white against Kramnik will be his "big fish that got away" for a while, although he did reel in Big Vlad in a rapid playoff game for consolation.

In sum, a deserving winner in a somewhat unfortunate tournament. A mind-numbing 78% of the games were drawn. Of the 12 games between the 2700 heavyweights, only one was decisive. Seeing such a powerful, supposedly classical, tournament decided by rapid and blitz is depressing, but as we saw in Linares this year, no format (or player) is immune to the draw-disease. The 2002 Dortmund tournament used a similar format and was full of decisive games and exciting chess.

We'll have more for Dortmund in the coming days, including photos, analysis, and interviews.


Participants

Group 1 Country Birthday
Rating
Viswanathan Anand India 11 Dec. 1969
2774
Peter Svidler Russia 17 June 76
2733
Sergei Rublevsky Russia 15 Oct. 74
2671
Arkadij Naiditsch Germany 25 Oct. 85
2571

Group 2 Country Birthday
Rating
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 25 June 75
2764
Peter Leko Hungary 08 Sep. 79
2741
Viorel Bologan Moldavia 14 Dec. 71
2665
Sergey Karjakin Ukraine 12 Jan. 90
2580

Full schedule and scoresheet

Round 1: Thurs. July 22, 14:00h
V. Anand
½-½
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
½-½
S. Rublevsky
V. Kramnik
½-½
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
½-½
V. Bologan
Round 2: Friday. July 23, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
½-½
S. Rublevsky
V. Anand
1-0
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
½-½
V. Bologan
V. Kramnik
½-½
P. Leko
Round 3: Sat. July 24, 14:00h
P. Svidler
1-0
A. Naiditsch
S. Rublevsky
½-½
V. Anand
P. Leko
½-½
S. Karjakin
V. Bologan
½-½
V. Kramnik
Round 4: Sun. July 25, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
½-½
V. Anand
S. Rublevsky
½-½
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
½-½
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
½-½
P. Leko
Round 5: Mon. July 26, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
0-1
P. Svidler
V. Anand
1-0
S. Rublevsky
S. Karjakin
½-½
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
½-½
V. Bologan
Round 6: Tues. July 27, 14:00h
S. Rublevsky
0-1
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
½-½
V. Anand
V. Bologan
½-½
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
½-½
V. Kramnik
Wednesday July 28 – Rest Day
Semifinal 1: Thurs. July 29, 14:00h
Kramnik
½-½
Svidler
Anand
½-½
Leko
Playoff for 5th–8th
Bologan
½-½
Rublevsky
Naiditsch
1-0
Karjakin
Semifinal 2: Fri. July 30, 14:00h
Svidler
½-½
Kramnik
Playoff: 1/2 1/2 1-0 0-1 0-1 0-1
Anand
½-½
Leko
Playoff: 1/2 1/2 1-0 1-0
For 5th–8th
Rublevsky
½-½
Bologan
Playoff: 1-0 1-0
Karjakin
0-1
Naiditsch
Final 1: Sat. July 31, 14:00h
Anand
½-½
Kramnik
For 3rd place
Leko
½-½
Svidler
For 5th place
Naiditsch
1-0
Rublevsky
For 7th
Karjakin
½-½
Bologan
Final 2: Sun. Aug 1, 11:30h
Kramnik
½-½
Anand
Playoff: 1/2 0-1
For 3rd place
Svidler
½-½
Leko
Playoff 1/2 1-0
For 5th place
Rublevsky
½-½
Naiditsch
For 7th
Bologan
1-0
Karjakin
Games – Report

Topics Dortmund 2004
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